It’s here to stay.
No question about it. But where did it come from? And can you wear it? Why, exactly, would you want to? And what are all of those products even for? Let me bring you on a little journey of discovery. Believe me, once you get to the end, it might change the way you see the entire world.
It’s been tried before…
Have you ever heard of guyliner? Or maybe manscara for men? If yes, you probably cringe when you think of them. These products were the result of when companies last decided to try to capitalize on a trend. Makeup for men. This was back in the days of heavy eyeliner and a rockstar attitude. Where men in their 20’s thought that, like many of their predecessors, eyeliner made them seem more edgy. If a young guy wearing eyeliner walked past someone in the street, no one so much as turned their head. Because it was the fashion at the time. No one cared about it. The funny thing? They still don’t.
Yet the marketing campaign of UK retailer Superdrug failed. But why? Surely there was the demand for makeup products that were aimed at men? Well… no. The problem here was that they massively overestimated how much their potential consumers wanted these products. The ‘new’ names somehow made them sound far, far worse. They were almost patronizing. Every rock and roll kid was perfectly happy to buy the cheapest mascara or eyeliner in the store. Even if it was made for women.
It may surprise you,but the majority of men who buy makeup that is aimed at men are in their late thirties or forties. Makeup has always been massively popular in the LGBT community, and makeup targeted at women has been tapping into this market for a very long time.
And that’s unlikely to change. Every man is different. But if he wants to wear thick foundation and bright eye shadow, then women’s makeup have all of the brands and shades that he could ask for. Makeup designed for men is different in that it values the subtle. The invisible. That’s because the majority of male makeup is aimed at men who have never worn it before. Why is this interesting? Because it means that REAL makeup for men is now available The brand coming up with these products have finally tapped into what men want – Makeup that is invisible.
It shouldn’t be surprising. Just think about it. Celebrities are wearing makeup constantly. Both men and women. Maybe it is because of the heavy studio lights. Or needing to look just right for the camera. You are almost guaranteed that anytime you see a picture of your favourite celeb, he is wearing some form of makeup. Of course, sometimes this is the full works, with lots of foundation, etc. Can you ever even tell? Not really. And even when going about their day to day lives, the vast majority are wearing something light on their face. Because makeup covers up their imperfections. This is what makeup does, what its main purpose is. To cover imperfections. To enhance what’s already there.Scroll to end
Time for a history lesson
Men wearing makeup isn’t exactly a new idea. I’ve already touched on the early 2000’s phase. Before that, there were celebrities such as David Bowie and Boy George. Before that, makeup had been popular throughout history. And men weren’t embarrassed by it then. The classic example is the Pharaohs of Egypt, with their dark rimmed eyes and cat-like flicks. But take a look at fashions in England in the 18th Century. Along with the powdered wigs came white face powder and red rouge on the cheeks. A look where it was obviously makeup, and yet it was fashion, it was what men wanted to wear. The same goes for makeup now. Wear what you want.
Male grooming has always been a thing because men, like women, care about looking their best. It’s why barbers exist. With the fashion for growing beards, this is even clearer. Products like beard conditioner, oil, or moustache wax can be found everywhere.
It’s seen as a completely natural thing to want to make your beard look as good as it can. And why shouldn’t it be?
The same is slowly happening with makeup for men. It all started with taking good care of your skin. Did you have acne as a teenager? If so, you were probably using all of the lotions and potions available to try and combat it. And except in some extreme cases, you get amazing results.
Skin health for men has never been more popular. Where twenty years ago cleansing and moisturizing everyday wouldn’t have been considered ‘manly’, now you get reprimanded if you don’t do it. Why? Because keeping your skin healthy can drastically reduce the signs of aging,, And stop adult breakouts. Men have no problem with getting their eyebrows waxed, getting a manicure or even getting a fake tan. So really, why should makeup be any different?
Go put your makeup on
Makeup for men is now popular. It’s a fact. This is partly due to the pressure men are under to look good all of the time. The media makes you think that all men should have flawless skin, and age gracefully. Obviously men, just like women, should be proud of how they look. Yet while the media has highlighted self-esteem issues, it has also opened a window to something that had always been there. Men have always had issues with their skin. Be it dark circles under their eyes, facial redness or looking older than they feel they should. Before, this type of thing simply wasn’t spoken about. Now the window is open. There’s never been a better time to admit that everyone, no matter who they are, gets hung up over their looks sometimes. You’re not the only one.
Brands such as Chanel, Tom Ford and Clinique have all released makeup geared towards men in the last few years. And they definitely won’t be the last major brands to do so. From tinted moisturizer to eyebrow pencils, brands have taken the plunge again in trying to appeal to the male market. And it’s been a success. Why? Because they’re not trying to make men’s makeup ‘manly’. This type of advertisement simply doesn’t work anymore. You may have seen the uproar regarding the Gillette Super Bowl commercial, which speaks out about this hyper-masculinity. It’s been a massive success. It seems that these companies have finally realized that they don’t need to change eyeliner to ‘guyliner’ in order for men to be interested. Men are no longer embarrassed about wanting to look their best. In our modern, equal society, telling men that they can’t wear makeup is the same as telling a woman that she has to. Men have embraced the new trend. It’s time to get with the program.
The new kids on the block
While there are many well-known brands that have branched out and are now offering makeup for men, there are other, new businesses that have spotted the gap in the market. People who recognize the importance of creating makeup that is made for men, by men.
America and Canada has a for men brand in the guise of House of Formen. Born and bred in Canada, and stocked in over 50 stores there, they are touted as the first male cosmetic house. They also have offices in New York City, frequently shipping to customers across the States. Formen specialize in providing professional quality makeup for men, including a clinical skincare range.
These types of businesses are the ones that the established brands need to watch out for. They saw the need for specific makeup for men early, and have capitalized on it. How? By producing formulas that aren’t based on what we know about women’s makeup. Instead they focus on the intricacies of male skin, and what it is that men are really looking for from their makeup.
What, exactly, is all of this about?
Makeup. OK, so men can wear it. But with so many bottles, tubes, brushes, Youtube videos… It can all get a bit much at times. What should you buy, what do you need, and what exactly are the right products for you? Never fear. Keep reading to find out the answers to all of your questions. From all of the information you need about a makeup routine to descriptions of all the major products on the market.
How do I know if I need makeup?
A lot of men and women can get away without wearing any makeup, relying instead on a good skincare routine to keep them fresh looking. A lot of factors are at play here. Some people just aren’t self-conscious about their looks at all, and the world just needs to accept them as they are. If you are one of these people, that’s fantastic. Youth has a big part to play in this, as your skin will be naturally firmer and less prone to dry patches, not to mention the lack of wrinkles! Diet also has its part to play in healthy skin; make sure that you are getting enough Vitamin C and drinking enough water. This will definitely improve your skin’s appearance, as does cutting back on alcohol and getting a good night’s sleep. Yet for a lot of us, the tell-tale signs of aging, the tiredness around the eyes, and the patches of redness make us feel less confident in our own skin. If this is you, then giving makeup a shot is worth a try.
When is it OK to wear?
When is the best time to wear makeup? Are there some situations where it just shouldn’t be done, where you should just put up with how your skin looks?
Honestly, if you are using makeup only for its cover-up effect, items such as concealer or blotting powder can be worn every day. No matter the time, day or night, these types of products are designed to be unnoticeable on the skin. So you shouldn’t worry about whether or not to keep it for a ‘special occasion’.
The reason so many women wear makeup everyday isn’t because others expect them to. It’s because it makes them feel good about themselves. So if you have tried a few products and like how they look, then there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t wear them to work every day. It is advised that you give your skin a break every now and then, so if you know that you’re going to be spending the day in the house, then let your skin breathe. This is really only necessary with heavier products however, as a lot of cover-up makeup has some great vitamins inside of them that help to revitalize your skin.
Before applying any type of makeup to you face, you’ve got to have a pre-makeup routine. What is this exactly? It’s as simple as what you should be doing every morning and evening – taking care of your skin. It can drastically improve your looks. For example, if your main concern is the redness that is caused by dry skin, then using a facial cleanser and moisturizer that suits this specific skin type will improve the appearance of it. It’s also important to have a pre-makeup routine as it helps all makeup to go on the way that you want it to. Plus, it prevents your pores from blocking up and causing spots. Which is always a good thing.
So what does it do?
The simple answer? Everything. Firstly, it cleans your face. Gets rid of all of the dirt and sweat of the day, leaving you feeling refreshed. It can reduce spots, redness, oily skin, as well as lessening the appearance of large pores. A good men’s facial cleanser is one that is designed for men’s skin. Nothing fancy, nothing complicated. Just an alternative to soap. It does however, depend on what your skin type is:
- For Dry Skin. Is your skin a bit flaky and red? Does the shower make your skin feel tight? Dry skin can be a major issue for men, particularly around the beard area. If this sounds like you, then the best men’s cleanser for dry skin is something creamy that will hydrate the skin. Stay away from self-foaming cleansers – they usually come in a can like shaving foam. These can dry your skin out even more.
- For Oily Skin. For the opposite of dry, men’s cleanser for oily skin might be stranger than you think. Natural oil is actually very good for your skin, and using an oil based cleaner will stop your skin from producing excess of its own. Again, you’re not looking anything that will dry it out too much. This will cause your skin to overcompensate and produce even more oil than before.
- For Combination Skin. Are you both flaky and oily? A surprising number of people have combination skin. For cleansing, you’re looking for something that is mild enough for every part. A lightly moisturizing cleanser is best.
- For Normal Skin. Not very oily, and not very dry? Most cleansers will be good for your face, but it’s best to stick to a lighter formula that’s designed to cleanse your pores. Having one with a slight exfoliating effect will also help to keep your skin at its very best, such as Formen’s Vitamin C cleanser.
- For Sensitive Skin. Stay away from any product with alcohol in it, as this will definitely case a reaction. It is recommended that men’s cleanser for sensitive skin should be calming and relaxing. Make sure that it has been tested for use on all skin types, and it says that it is suitable for sensitive skin. Otherwise it may just make your skin worse.
But how do I use it?
You can still wash your face in the shower is you want to, although this might not be the best answer for dry or sensitive skin. You will need lukewarm running water however. Most cleansers have specific instructions on the back of their bottles, but generally, they are all very similar.
- Step One. Splash your face with some water. Not only will this waken you up a little if it’s the morning time, it gives you a great base to apply your cleanser to.
- Step Two. Squeeze out a little cleanser onto your wet hands and lather it up well until you have a good amount.
- Step Three. Rub it all over your face using small, circular movements. Make sure that you get the skin behind your beard if you have one. Do this all the way up to your hairline and also around your neck.
- Step Four. Rinse it all off well, making sure you get all of the lather. You can then splash your face with cold water. This will close your freshly cleaned pores up again.
- Step Five. Pat dry with a towel. Don’t rub your face raw. Pat. Gently.
Cleansing should happen in the morning and evening to keep your skin in good shape. It can be done again however if you need to freshen up before going anywhere special. If you are wearing makeup, make sure you cleanse your face afterwards. The key to healthy skin is regular cleansing with the right product for you. A cleanser is excellent skincare for men’s spots, blocked and large pores, as well as excess oil or dryness. Exfoliating regularly is also recommended, or using a cleanser with slight exfoliating properties.
Formen’s cleanser is enriched with Vitamin C, this daily face wash is formulated to help attain younger, healthier and brighter skin. Gentle exfoliating properties keep pores clean leaving skin feeling soft and fresh. RRP $24.99
So what does it do?
Our skin just can’t cope with all that the world throws at it. Cold weather affects it. Hot weather affects it. Air conditioning. A warm room. Everything you can think of has an affect on the way our skin behaves. And the way it behaves isn’t always the reaction you want. This is where moisturizer comes in.
Has your skin ever felt strange after a shower? That’s because the hot water (and whatever shampoo got onto your face) has stripped your skin of all of the essential oils that it needs. While a cleanser goes a long way in helping to restore this, a moisturizer is also needed. It not only replenishes the skin, it creates a protective barrier against everything else your day is going to throw at it.
Moisturizer can also be anti-aging. Fighting the cause and appearance of fine lines and leaving your skin supple and fresh looking.
- For Dry Skin. For this type of skin moisturizer is particularly essential. Dry skin needs an extra bit of help to stay hydrated and to soothe any flaky areas. Repeated use of moisturizer can dramatically reduce the appearance of dry skin, and actually make it better over time, so you won’t notice it as much. Men’s moisturizer for dry skin should be thick and super hydrating.
- For Oily Skin. For this skin type it’s the same. Even though you are producing an excess of oil, you still need a light men’s moisturizer for oily skin. This can help combat the stripping effect that very hot water can have, and help make your skin soft. All while preventing it producing the excess oil that you detest so much.
- For Sensitive Skin. It’s important that your moisturizer is completely fragrance free. As this is something that soaks into the skin, rather than a cleanser that you are washing off, a reaction can occur over time. So no fragrance and no alcohol are absolute musts. A great example of a men’s moisturizer for sensitive skin is Formen’s anti-aging moisturizer for men.
Pre-makeup moisturizer is always a good idea. As moisturizer leaves your skin smooth and soft to the touch, and it provides a great base on which to apply any makeup. This is particularly true if you are putting any powder on your face. It can show up the dry parts of your skin, instead of masking them, if you are not sufficiently moisturized. It also acts as a primer. This means that the makeup will stick easier to your skin. Allowing for an easier application, and easier blending. When you’ve moisturized beforehand, applying makeup becomes so much simpler.
But how do I use it?
Using moisturizer couldn’t be easier. Use as much as you feel you need, and you can always apply more if you didn’t get enough the first time.
- Step One. Take a small amount of moisturizer onto clean fingers and dab a dot of it on your forehead, cheeks, nose and chin. Rub it all in using a circular motion until you can’t see it anymore. Don’t be afraid to apply more to particularly dry areas if you need to.
- Step Two. Before applying any makeup, leave it to dry for a couple of minutes. This will prime your skin without it being too damp.
That’s it! Moisturizing is so simple to do, and it’s recommended that you do it both morning and night, after you cleanse.
Anti-aging facial moisturizer from Formen. A daily, lightweight and non-greasy facial moisturizer packed with anti-aging properties. Hypo-allergenic and non-irritating, it’s engineered to be safe on sensitive skin. RRP $27.99.
So what does it do?
Hydrogels consist of mostly water. Because of this, they massively hydrate the area under your eyes. They are also packed with various serums that are great for the fine skin there. As they are kept on your face for a while, this really gives them a chance to get to work. If your eyes are prone to getting puffy or tired looking, particularly after a night out, then you should consider using these masks. Not only that, they are also great for use pre-makeup. Because they reduce the look of dark circles and bags under your eyes, you may find that you need to apply less makeup than you thought. These simple masks pack a lot of punch. They are also really good at reducing the signs of aging around eyes. Minimizing the look of wrinkles and well as tightening up sagging skin. This, in turn, makes your whole face look younger.
But how do I use it?
Using these masks is pretty intuitive. First, plan out when you want to use them. They can be put on ten minutes before you want to apply makeup, or longer for a better effect. They can be applied in the morning before work if you are looking particularly tired. Or just as an extra treat for yourself in the evening after a long day.
Step 1: Prep
Cleanse and moisturize. These are best applied to moisturized skin, as they will help your skin to soak up all of that good stuff. Make sure that you have left your moisturizer to dry for a little while beforehand
Step 2: Apply
Peel off the backing of the eye mask, making sure to apply one at a time. To apply, place underneath the eye, not too close to your lower lid. Follow the natural contours of your face, and smooth down with a finger. If it’s not in the right place, you can adjust them.
Step 3: Leave them alone
Instructions will vary on the time you leave these on for, but it’s usually suggested for at least 15 to 20 minutes. During that time, don’t touch them. Or peel them back. We know it’s tempting.
Step 4: Removal
When the time is up, take the masks off gently. You will have a lot of serum left underneath your eyes. With clean fingertips, pat this into your skin to give it that final boost.
Due to the cooling effect of hydrogel, your eyes should now feel more alert, and the skin should look less tired. You can use these as much as you want, but it’s recommended about 2 to 3 times a week.
Cover up Routine For Men
When men first think about using makeup, it’s generally because there is something that they want to cover up. Something about their face that makes them slightly insecure. And this could be one or more of a whole range of things. Redness in the face. Bags or dark circles under the eyes. Freckles. Broken veins. Discolouration of the skin. It could even be that they feel that, over the years, their skin has lost that dewy youthfulness. That it’s looking pale and tired. Maybe the wrinkles are starting to make themselves known. Maybe you have adult acne, or acne scars from your youth. As you can see, there’s a long list of reasons, and the list really is never-ending. You can want to cover up for many reasons. And no reason is a bad one. Knowing what products are available, what they are best for, and how to use them is the part that’s difficult. But once you know these things you’ll soon be bursting with confidence, and back to living your best life.
So what does it do?
Part of a men’s makeup starter kit, CC cream is used to correct colour variations on the face. This includes redness, dark circles under the eyes, and other pigmentation problems. It’s not as heavy as a foundation, but takes away the worst discolouration. It can also act as a primer for more makeup if you do decide to use a foundation. A base coat of CC cream means that you can use less foundation, and what you do use will stay put for longer. If you are acne or breakout prone, CC cream is a great way to reduce the appearance of inflamed skin. It dulls down that redness so that you can approach your day with confidence.
Not only this, but the majority of CC creams, like Formen’s brand, include an SPF. This helps to keep skin protected from the sun, preventing age spots and wrinkles from forming, as well as sunburn. It helps to moisturize your skin, making dry areas less of a problem.
You may already think that this sounds like a great product. But men’s CC cream does even more. It helps to calm oily skin, or mattify it, meaning that you won’t have that awful greasy feeling halfway through the day. CC cream will mean that your makeup feels like a second skin, instead of being painted on. If you have dull skin, CC cream adds glow to it, making you look and feel young, fresh and healthy.
But how do I use it?
The beauty of CC creams for men is that they are easy to apply. Whether you are trying to look your best for an extra special day, or trying to hide the tiredness from a late night, an extra minute in the morning is all you need.
Step 1: Wash your face
The first rule of applying any product, is to make sure your face is clean. In fact, this should go without saying. Whether you use any creams or not, washing your face with a good cleanser in the morning has a world of benefits. Splash your face with cold water once you’re done to close up your pores, then pat dry with a towel. If you moisturize, now is the time to do it. While CC creams for men also moisturize, both can be used together, and this is recommended if you have very dry skin. Let your moisturizer dry for a minute before applying your male CC cream.
Step 2: Time to apply
Take your tube of CC cream, and add a dot of product on your forehead, chin, nose, and both cheeks. Using clean fingers, work the product in an outward movement. (So for your forehead, blend the product out, and towards the scalp). Most CC creams give you a light cover, and you should be able to notice this instantly. It should give you a healthy looking glow while masking imperfections.
Step 3: Top-up anyone?
Once you’ve applied your CC cream, take another look. Are you looking for a little more coverage in some areas? If foundation isn’t for you, or if you’re just not feeling it today, then you can add some extra product to your problem areas. It’s always recommended that you do this after your initial application, as it’s very easy to add too much product on at once. Remember, less is more! CC cream is the ultimate men’s makeup to cover redness. To apply, just add one small dot to the problem area and blend with a fingertip. For dark circles, dab three tiny dots under each eye and blend.
Hey presto, you’re done! This really is all it takes to add a little bit of makeup to make your face look fresher. It’s a great beginner product for any man, and it really doesn’t even seem like makeup at all.
Formen’s male CC cream comprises a professional formulation that acts as six different products mulled into one. It’s the jack of all trades making it the perfect product for those who want one product that can do most. RRP $32.99
So what does it do?
Age spots, redness, blood vessels, acne, large pores, under eyes. Everyone has marks and blemishes on their skin, don’t let Instagram fool you. Even if you have very little redness, or just some darkness under the eyes, it’s amazing what a dash of concealer can do to remove this from sight. There are two major types of concealer.
- Everyday, or ‘regular’ concealer
- Coloured concealer.
Confused yet? You needn’t be. While there are many brands in the market at the minute, there are only a few things that it is important to know about concealer and how it’s used.
Your everyday staple, regular concealer for men is used to cover up imperfections on the face. While areas of your face that have more drastic differences in colour will benefit from a coloured concealer, a regular one is always needed as well. This is because it neutralizes the skin tone for a smoother, more natural look.
It can come in a range of different formats — a stick, cream or even with it’s own brush applicator. It is generally thicker than foundation, but should still glide easily over the skin. If you’re confused about what to choose, stick to a cream concealer, as this will allow you to easily taper how much you apply at any one time. Regular concealer should be one shade lighter than your normal skin tone, which is in general the issue that people have the most difficulty with.
What are the different types, and what do they do?
Stick concealer For Men
This is used primarily for scars, tattoos, and deep marks. It should only be used it you have one of these issues to cover, and you will generally need to use foundation afterwards. It will be a lot harder to achieve a no-makeup look if you are using this, as it can be quite heavy.
Pencil concealer For Men
Great for use around acne and spots. Because it has a thin tip, you can circle the area that you need to cover with precision. It’s not a good concealer for all-round use, and isn’t suitable for the area under the eyes or going over coloured concealer. However if you are acne prone, it’s a great investment.
Liquid concealer For Men
This is probably the type that you’ve seen time and time again in women’s makeup ads. It’s great for the area under the eyes, for use in contouring, and for general cover up. Because it’s liquid, it’s also really easy to apply. It can be quite heavy, but there are different varieties. Again it works best when used with foundation, but if your main problem area is the eyes, it might be worth considering.
Cream concealer For Men
A great all-rounder. This can be used on spots, under the eyes, and for general imperfections. It’s not heavy, so you can use it without foundation. This means it’s great for the natural look, but you won’t have the heavy coverage of liquid or stick concealer. It is easy to apply however, as you can do so with your fingertips.
How do I know what tone is for me?
A lot of finding the correct colour of male concealer is guesswork and trial and error. Remember that you are looking for a shade that is 1-2 times lighter than your skin tone, this should be easier than trying to think about matching your skin exactly.
You can also go to any cosmetics counter near you and they can show you what shade to use. Be aware however, that unless they stock a range of men’s concealer, it’s likely that the concealer they show you will vary drastically from the type that you are looking for. It won’t be designed for your type of skin, even if the colour is correct.
When starting out especially, it’s probably best to get a set that contains either two or three tones of concealer. This way, not only will you be able to try a few out, but you can also blend shades together to perfectly match what you are looking for. Different areas of the face may also call for a slightly darker or lighter hue, so it’s best not to be too reliant on one colour. Formen’s cream concealer trio is a great example of a beginner men’s concealer set specifically designed for your skin.
But how do I use it?
Once you’ve found the correct shade for you, concealer is very easy to use. Whether you’re looking for a little coverage or a lot, the secret is to make sure it’s blended in. The following tips are for use with cream concealer, as it’s the most common type of men’s concealer to cover imperfections on the market at the moment.
Step 1: Prep
Always, before using any moisturizer or makeup, make sure that your face is properly washed. Not only does this mean that your concealer will apply correctly, it also means that it won’t mix with any oily residue or dirt on your skin to block your pores. It’s always best to splash your face with cold water after you wash to close up your pores as well, as this will help prevent breakouts when using makeup. If you moisturize and use CC cream, now is the time to do it. Make use and wait for a few minutes after this before applying concealer.
Step 2: Time to apply
Applying concealer is relatively straightforward. As with any male makeup product, less is more, and you can always add to it if you need to. Fingers are generally better than all of the blending brushes on the market. Brushes can be more precise, so if you feel like you need one, use one. If you are blending a shade together, do so now. It will take time and practice to get it correct every time, just remember you are looking for something lighter than your natural skin.
- When using male concealer for redness around spots, take a little product and dab it on. Never rub, just dab lightly until it blends in.
- If you are applying concealer underneath the eyes, dab a little concealer just below the section that’s discoloured, and then slowly blend in with an upwards motion. Be careful not to put too much here, as it can settle into the fine wrinkles around your eyes and make them look deeper.
- The nose is a problem area for many men, and you apply concealer here the same way to do for blemishes. Just dab a little on until it’s fully blended in.
- For other problem areas on your skin, just take a little and dab on, making sure that it is fully blended
Step 3: The Sunlight Check
Natural light is the best for viewing makeup for men, so make sure you view yourself in a mirror where you can get the sunlight. This will ensure that you have applied and blended your concealer correctly. If you have, you shouldn’t even be able to notice you’re wearing it!
If you feel like you need a little more, don’t be afraid to apply more or use a darker/lighter shade on different areas. Pigmentation can vary drastically on different parts of the face.
What if I still have discolouration?
First of all, make sure that you have the correct shade for your skin tone. If it is too dark, it won’t help to conceal some areas. Build up the amount that you are using slowly, and remember to always blend as you go. Still don’t think that regular concealer is doing the job it should? And when you apply more to the affected areas it seems to look worse instead of better? Then the likelihood is that you need a coloured concealer as well as a regular one.
Discreetly cloak imperfections with Formen’s 3 in one male concealer. Three colours housed in one solid product, it’s an essential part of male grooming. RRP $29.99
How do I know what colour I need?
The colour you use will differ again depending on your skin tone, so it does take a little bit of trial and error, just like with regular concealer. Coloured concealer is a great concealer for men’s redness causes and this includes broken capillaries, and rosacea.
Just like with regular concealer, coloured concealer for men comes in a range of different types. Stick and cream concealers are more common however. As everyone’s face tends to have more than one issue (think redness and dark circles) you are going to need more than one colour. This is why it is recommended that you get a colour correction palette, that gives you a range. It’s also the best way to get started figuring out what colours work best for you.
If you’ve ever seen a colour wheel, that’s the basis that you go on when choosing a male concealer. You are looking for the colour opposite of whatever issue you want to cover up. Here’s a handy guide to some of the colours you’ll see.
- Purple – Brilliant for a sallow skin tone, this combats yellowing, which can happen from age or even bruising. Yellowing can also occur under the eyes. Depending on how dark or light your skin tone is, you might find yourself using it more than you think, as it helps to brighten dull skin.
- Yellow/Pink/Orange – This is what you are looking for if you need a men’s concealer for dark circles under the eyes. These tones neutralize blue, so you can look refreshed, even when don’t feel it.
- Green – This is the best concealer for men to hide redness. Broken capillaries, rosacea, inflamed skin – yes you can even put it on your spots! It makes a brilliant base for covering acne.
This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means. For every colour mentioned, you can purchase them in multiple different hues. From mint green to lavender to coral, the best one for you will depend on your skin. One good thing about coloured concealer however, is that you can mix and match these shades in whatever way suits you best. For example, you can use an orange tone with a green to mask bluish veins. That’s why it’s recommended to get a mixed palette at first, like Formen’s under eye concealer for men. It has peach, lavender and green which are all softer hues for gentler concealing. While the perfect mix for under the eyes, it is suitable for use anywhere on the face.
But how do I use it?
How you apply coloured concealer depends on what part of the face that you are applying it to. The best tip is this: start small. Don’t cover your finger in yellow concealer and smear it under your eyes.
Step 1: The Beginning
To start, follow the same instructions as for regular concealer. If you use CC cream, put this on before your coloured concealer, as you may find that you need less neutralizing colour than you first thought.
Step 2: The Middle
- For under the eyes. Take a little bit of concealer onto a clean finger and apply a thin line. Avoid the corners of your eyes as concealer can settle in the fine lines around them. Gently blend in and dab on more if necessary. Follow up with a light shade of regular concealer and blend this in.
- For redness and spots. Gently dab the concealer on the affected area, building it up as needed. Cover with regular concealer after you are happy with the result. If you have a spot that is particularly bumpy, you can cover it with a darker shade of regular concealer, as this helps to create shadows to hide it
- For anywhere else. If you have another area that you want to conceal, you can use a mixture of fine lines and dabbing to blend in the colour to your skin.
Step 3: The End
Remember to cover with regular concealer if you want to, and if you wear foundation, it’s best to do this after you have colour corrected, as you may find that you need a much lighter layer, or even none at all.
Are you sure this won’t make me look like a clown?
Not if you apply it right. A good way to check is always the sunlight test. Go into the room with the most natural light and have a look there. Do you see green and yellow blotches? Then you haven’t blended correctly or have put on too much colour. Remember to cover the areas you’ve applied it to with regular men’s concealer. This will mask any residual product. Always remember that less is more, all you are trying to do here is to even out your skin tone.
Formen’s compact under eye trio contains everything required to completely conceal male under eye bags. With an easy finger application, you will discreetly hide the dark circles under the eyes. RRP $27.99
So what does it do?
Essentially, blotting powder removes the shine from your face. And I’m not talking about the healthy glow. I’m talking about the oil that you get even after cleaning your face in the morning, or the greasy feeling you might have before going into that important meeting. Or a first date. The fact of it is, many of us are prone to oily skin, and there’s very little to combat this completely. Blotting powder for men can be applied in the morning, afternoon or evening, whenever it’s necessary. Probably the best thing about Formen’s male blotting powder, like others are translucent, and so are invisible when applied to the skin. This means that you can top it up whenever needed, without having to remove any other makeup or previous applications.
But how do I use it?
Whenever you feel that you’re a little bit too shiny, you can apply the powder and it will absorb all of the excess oil to give you a shine-free complexion.
Step 1: Prep
Wait, what prep? The best thing about blotting powder is that you can put it on anytime, anywhere. Whenever you feel the need to. If you are applying first thing in the morning, do it after you moisturize and put on any other makeup that you want to wear that day.
Step 2: Application
Most blotting powders come with a sponge applicator. Unfortunately this isn’t a makeup that you can apply with your fingers. Some applicators are better than others, and if you’re not happy with the results that you’re getting it might be worth investing in a brush. This can help give you even coverage. When applying with a sponge, collect up a good amount of the powder and dab or sweep across your whole face, starting with those areas the most affected by oil, such as the forehead and nose. Application with a brush is similar. Circle the brush around in the product and then glide it across your face. If you feel like you need more, add more. Some powders do come with a hint of colour in them, so if you are using one of these be careful how many times you apply it during the day. If it is a translucent powder however, you can re-apply as many times as you think you need to.
Powder or Paper?
Before blotting powder was ever a thing, there where blotting papers. Tiny pieces of paper designed to soak up all of the oil from your face. These were the staple of any hormonal teenager, both male and female. So if they work so well, and are easily transportable, why has the trend shifted toward powder? Surely it’s just another unnecessary makeup product?
The simple answer is, papers do remove oil just as well as powder does. However, paper can be annoying to use, whereas with powder you just brush or dab on. The one difference between paper and powder is that while paper removes the oil, the powder helps to prevent it coming back quite so quickly. It’s easy to give your face an all over treatment, making it look much more even in skin tone. Plus, it doesn’t remove any other makeup that you might have on underneath.
Formen’s Blotting Powder is a 100% translucent way to eliminate the shine from your face. Once applied shine is drastically reduced, excess oil is absorbed, and the skin instantly becomes shine free. RRP $34.99
Even while covering up those imperfections, you’ve been enhancing. It’s all part of the makeup package. But there are times when you want just a little more oomph to your look. That’s where true enhancing products come in. It can seem strange at first, a little bit too much like ‘real’ makeup. Yet when used correctly, they are just as invisible as everything else. These are the products that really take your look from nought to sixty. The only thing I can say is to just try them, and see what you think. You might be pleasantly surprised at how they look. And at how invisible they are.
So what does it do?
Men’s eyebrow pencils fill in any patches in your eyebrows, making them look fuller. This is particularly good if you have very thin eyebrows. It’s also important to get the correct shade for your brows. The standard shades are light, medium, and dark brown. You are looking for the one that matches your natural colour the closest. If you already get your eyebrows waxed or threaded, this is a great way to give them a fuller look without dyeing them. Many eyebrow pencils come with a brush as well. If they don’t, it’s a great idea to invest in one. A brush will not only smooth down any unruly hairs, but it will also help to distribute the product. A men’s eyebrow pencil will add definition, structure and colour to your brows, and enhance the look of your eyes.
But how do I use it?
Step 1: Brush
Using an eyebrow brush is the best way to get them looking as natural as possible. Gently brush your brows the way you want them to sit, and pay attention to where your arches are. Start in the centre of your face and brush upwards, before lightly brushing the rest across towards the end of your brow. Don’t brush them in a way they clearly don’t want to go; for more intense shaping you’ll need to visit a professional. If there are a few stray hairs however, after brushing is the perfect time to pluck them out. Just remember, we’re talking about stray hairs here, otherwise you’ll need a lot more than an eyebrow pencil to fix the bald spot!
Step 2: Fill in your brows
Applying colour to your eyebrows is really simple. It doesn’t take any artistic style at all and if you do happen to get a line all the way up your forehead, it can be washed off easily. They key to applying is to use gentle, short strokes. Focus on the parts of your eyebrow that are patchy, and fill them in. You’re not looking for thick dark lines, but rather something that mimics and enhances the eyebrows that you already have. Once you’ve done one, step back, take a look at it, and then move on to the other one. You will never get both eyebrows looking exactly the same, because they weren’t made the same. The great motto of eyebrow shaping everywhere is that they are brothers, not twins.
Step 3: Brush again
With your brush, gently sweep it through your brows again. This will help to define the shape and distribute any colour so it will have a more natural look. Take a step back and look at both of your brows again. They shouldn’t be too dark, or too solid. If you think you need more colour, apply again, but be careful not to add too much.
You should now have two full, natural looking brows, that don’t look painted on. Remember to do a sunlight check if you’re not sure what they look like, and apply your pencil in stages.
So what does it do?
Clear mascara still makes your lashes look darker, but only slightly. It provides more of a wet look that is very natural and no one will even know that you are wearing it. It separates and plumps up your lashes so that you seem more alert. It also works brilliantly when paired with other makeup, without the bother of dark smudges. If you want even more definition, you can also curl your lashes before applying clear mascara. This will give them the illusion of being longer. You can purchase a lash curler almost anywhere. All you have to do is crimp the lashes and hold for 5 seconds. Apply your mascara after this.
But how do I use it?
Step one: Make sure your lashes are clean
It sounds strange, but it’s necessary! Just like when applying makeup to the rest of your face, you need to make sure that your lashes are clean, as they can grab hold of oils from your face. This should all just be incorporated into your cleansing every morning. When it comes to other makeup, it’s always a good idea to put on your mascara last.
Step 2: Application
You can apply with your eye open or closed, but closed is probably best, particularly if you’ve never applied mascara before. When you remove the wand initially, make sure that there is enough product on it. If there is too much, which is common when it’s brand new, scrape some off. The great thing about clear mascara is that you only need a little, and you can easily apply more. This is different from coloured mascara, which can clump your eyelashes together if you over use it. To apply the mascara, start underneath the base of your lashes and gently work the wand through them. You don’t need to be too quick about it either. A great trick when applying mascara is to saw the wand slightly from side to side as you work it upwards.
Clear mascara isn’t just for your eyelashes. Oh no, it has a few other uses as well. The top one being your brows. Are your eyebrows prone to being a bit unruly, not ever staying in place even after they’ve been plucked and brushed? If so, then sweeping a little clear mascara over them will not only have them looking healthy, but also keep them in the position you want them. No more Einstein brows. And because it’s clear mascara, no one will be able to tell.
Your beard and moustache
Not a fan of oil or wax? Do you still find the odd area that always has a hair out of place, going into you mouth, even after you’ve had a trim? Clear mascara is here to help you. Just like with your brows, comb it through the part that’s prone to going wild. Make sure that you have enough product on your brush beforehand, and make sure you only use it on the parts that need it most. You’ll find that it will hold even a single hair in place, without the build up that you get from wax.
How can I be sure that my makeup looks good?
So you’ve put makeup on, but you’re still not really sure about it. I mean, it looks good in the bathroom mirror, but does it look good to everyone else? Will you be laughed at when you walk into work? Or into your parents’ house? The sunlight test has already been mentioned a few times. But there are other ways in which you can be confident in your look before stepping out into the big wide world.
1. Do a trial day
Put on the makeup that you want to wear on a day where you’re not really doing much of anything. Maybe wear it to the store, but not anywhere else. Every few hours, take a look at it. Does it still look good? Is it fading or looking patchy? If so, this might just be wear and tear, but the main thing is that it looks invisible, even if it does start coming off after eight hours.
2. Ask a trusted friend
The best person to tell you what looks good isn’t always you. Ask someone you’re close to. Invite them round and see if they mention anything. If not, tell them that you’re wearing makeup. If they do say something, it’s probably just going to be how good your skin is looking!
3. Start with only wearing one product
Start small by only wearing one product at a time and building yourself up. Get confident applying CC cream everyday and blending it into your skin before moving onto concealer. Getting a regular skincare routine going is far more important. Cleansing and moisturizing everyday is going to make more of a difference than learning how to put on all those men’s makeup products for a special night out. Changes like this will always take time, so get yourself some healthy skincare habits first.
4. Take a picture of yourself
A picture speaks a thousand words. The same is true when wearing makeup. When you think you’ve got a look that suits you, take a picture from multiple angles. No filters allowed. Once you review them, you’ll be able to see yourself the way others might. Is your skin looking flawless? Then you are good to go! If not, just try again. Not everyone will get it right first time.
So what does it do?
Foundation lays the groundwork for any other products you’d like to use on your face. It helps create an even layer to make the face look like one solid color, or base. The more pigmentation, the more it will hide. You can then apply other products to build up onto that foundation. Foundation is slightly more advanced than a CC cream because it requires you to pick the right shade for your complexion. It evens out your face to one natural color, and lets you build from there.
But how do I use it?
Typically a male foundation is applied with a brush, a sponge, or a beauty blender like Formen’s 2-in-one Applicator. This is because if you use your fingertips you’ll end up with streaking or an uneven look, which mitigates the whole point if male makeup!
Step 1: Wash your face (if you haven’t already)
Step 2: Time to apply
Take your Formen skull and drop four or five dots of the male foundation onto the face at various points. We like to do one of the forehead, one on each cheek, and one on the nose. Depending how large your dots are you can add more.
Step 3: Blend for the Base
Once you’ve applied the foundation bots it’s time time to blend. Take the applicator and choose your side. Use either the silicone or sponge side, and start to brush the product into the skin. The easiest way to apply is to start with the sponge side until you’re happy with the result. Then to create a smooth finish you can use the silicon side to really make the product look as natural as possible. After that, you’re done! You can proceed to add on any further products.
It might take a few minutes the first time you try out a male foundation, but after that it’ll be as easy as pie. The technique to apply is really simple but hard to explain. Check out the video tutorial!
That’s all folks
So there you have it, everything you ever wanted to know (and probably some that you didn’t even realise you wanted to) about makeup for men. Hopefully you’ve learnt all of the techniques you need to try it out for yourself. This isn’t just something that’s a fad. Men’s makeup is here to stay, and with good reason. It’s time to stop looking in the mirror and wishing you could change something. With a good skincare routine, and the right makeup, you can. Men deserve to look as good as they want to, and that’s why it’s so great that there are products out there specifically designed for their use. Pre-makeup, cover up, and enhancing are all amazing things for the world of men’s skincare. So there’s really no reason not to try it.
Just remember, applying makeup is trial and error, and you’re going to make mistakes. You might make yourself look worse at first. It all just takes practice, the same as anything else. The fact is, when you get it right, men’s makeup can make you feel good. Make you look younger. And hide your imperfections. It’s the type of change where people will comment ‘hey, you’re looking great!’. And that’s the type of confidence we all need in our lives, right?
House of Formen is the globe’s first professional male cosmetic house. They have created exquisite products specifically designed to cloak skin imperfections and enhance the male skin. Born and raised in Canada, Formen’s offices have amplified into the heart of New York City. Visit them here.